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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm new to fishing for steelhead and am looking for a fly reel to go with my 8wt rod. Do you have any suggestions of good reels to check out? I want something that is reliable and not too pricey. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
 

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You'll get lots of opinions! One idea is to pick a budget and stick with it - say $100 - then try to find a reel for that price - I find it too easy to get sucked into higher price reels. I also suggest getting one that accepts more backing so you can use it for kings or warm saltwater fishing when on vacation....you never know.

As Dan Blanton says - buy what you can afford, but only cry once.

Check ebay - Redington has unloaded a line of reels and they are going for 40-50$. Warranty may be an issue.

check the classifieds on this site, also do a web search for "For Sale by Flyfisher" - I've purchased from guys at that site. I picked up an Abel reel for 1/2 retail.

GLoomis as an Adventure series for $100. Teton Tioga reels work well too. Hear OK things about Okuma - great price if the reel is as people claim. Ross reels are always good - Cimarron and Gunnison. Saltwater approved too. Sage has a line out as well that is affordable.

About lines - I recommend getting a versatip system with floating, intermediate and 2 sinking tips - it will cover 90% of your fishing needs and save you $200 when you don't have to buy full length fly lines for each type. Also saves the extra spool cost if you were thinking of going that route.

good luck


Jim
 

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Tioga #8.

I have one and it's absolutely bomb proof! Awesome drag, very simple and easy to clean. $110 (watch ebay for deals) and spare spools are cheap ($48).

I'm sure you will get tons of replies on this thread...my advise, don't skimp on a steelhead/salmon reel. Steelhead are few and far between, don't lose a chance at a picture with a cheap real.

www.flyfishsteelhead.com has some articles on reels...
 

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I purchased a Tioga from H&H in Bellingham...suffered a "beating" from the wife on how much I spent, but well worth it! I purchased a #10, and I believe I paid 240? What I like about the Tioga is:
- the reel body excepts a large arbor spool
- the drag is very smooth!

Good luck with the reel search! My last bit of advice would be buy line and reel from same store so that they can load it with the correct amount of backing (should be free!).
 

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Definately the Redington RS2 7/8 wt. You can't beat it for the money. I have two of them. $50 for a $140 reel is a no brainer. It is anodized so that you can fish salt as well. Go to the link provided at blue quil angler. That is the best place that I have found right now. And believe me I've been looking. Redington recently bought themselves back from Orvis and so Orvis is dumping their Redington stock through as many outlets as possible for dirt cheap. Here is a good non biased review of redington reels: http://www.flyanglersonline.com/prorevw/redreel.html

MacRowdy
 

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I'll be the contrarian and recommend the Pflueger Medalist. I've been using them exclusively for several years as has my flyfishing buddy. They're inexpensive (the US made ones are readily available on eBay) and they are practically indestructible. I would get the one that balances my rod.

Randy
 

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Slainte
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Depends on your budget

Okuma, if it's low, I put one on my 7 weight for salt and it's fine.

Ross Gunnison is what I really love though, I've two of them. Much better than their Cimarron which are also nice reels.

Ropin' 'em with Ross, Roper. :THUMBSUP
 

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I guess it depends on your definition of not too pricey. If you want to spend around $120, the Tioga is in my opinion the best reel in this price range. If your willing to spend a little more like around $200 then the Lamson Velocity would be tough to beat.

What I like about both of these reels is that they have a totally sealed drag, which is powerful enough to stop any fish in the river. Never need to wory about cleaning them, or getting water in them. The lamson is the better reel between the two though. Built stronger and has more fine tuning on the drag, but the cost is $80 more, plus spare spools are around $90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all of the advice everyone! It gives me a good place to start--I'm a little weary about reel shopping. A few years back I accidentally retired my "American made" Pfleuger medalist trout reel, after leaving it on the bumper of my truck--hopefully a fisherman smarter than me found it and is getting some use out of it. On the advise of a guy at the fly shop, I got a Lamson Velocity with the large arbor. It was great until the third time fishing it and the spool ripped apart when changing spools, leaving a huge bird's nest at my feet! There was some "defective epoxy" back at lamson, so they fixed it for free. A reputable company and I like the new reel well enough, but I'm not a confident with it as I was with the Medalist.

Now with fly lines for steelhead--You said that the Rio versi-tip is a good way to go. I understand with steelhead you've got to get the hang of presenting your fly at various depths with sink tips. I've been pricing lines and that multi-tip system is definitely cheaper than buying the different sink tip lines individually. So does the multi-tip line work as good? And what types of sink-tip lines do you guys use for steelhead here in the Northwest, for summer and winter run fish?

Thanks again!!
 

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I am a fan of ORVIS Battenkill series. They are a solid reel with a great drag system that has landed trout, salmon, and steelies.The price is usually at $100. They also make an equivalent version in green that I use as a backup...same drag system. I think it is called the Rocky mt series. Best part about it is its cheap...$60-$70 and spare spools are $15. I have used the Battenkill for 15 years with no complaints or maintenance!

Best of luck...
 

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Young Gun,
Before you buy a Redington you may want to check out www.outdoorreview.com Click on the flyfishing reviews and then reels. I'm not trying to bad mouth the Redington product, but they have had quite a few problems the the drags on both the AL and RS2. Lots of places are blowing them out. The price point is great, but the reels comes with no warranty. What does that tell you. Most other discontinued products you buy at least come with a warranty. If your going to fish steelies, spend a little more and get something that will serve you for many years to come. Their are lots of good reels out there.
Best of luck,
Brian
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Look for the Ross canyon 3 if there are any left. It's great, then there's the big game 4 or the new Evolution. The ross reels are the best deal for the money, I swear by them and have used them in harsh and extreme conditions, ie; snow and ice, heat, dirt and constant salt exposure. I just rinse them off and keep on going. Best thing is the drag is consistent and seems to wear very well, and I have had no hang-ups with indented or lame drags after leaving them at the same setting over time.A very durable reel indeed. And I have about one of everything else.I think the Ross reels are very workmanlike, a real- reel value for the money over time.
 

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Sir-
Aside from the price and the fact that the Tioga is used by DD, the Litespeed features the above qualities you mentioned plus some.

The Litespeed features a fully sealed drag, machined from solid barstock and an unconditional lifetime warranty.

And the features that the Litespeed have that the Tioga do not include its Type 3 Anodization process which is much more durable then a Type 2 features on all other reels. The Litespeed is also a true large arbor reel while the Tioga is a standard arbord paraded as a large arbor because Teton cut the centor out.

Plus myself and others have tested and put the Litespeed through the tests since they became available with less problems then those that plague the Teton, such as as the drag adustment screwing stripping itself and thus the reel becomes nearly useless.

Just my overly opinionated two-cents!
 

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I agree, NOTHING can top the Litespeed for the price, even though I still patiently waited for 1 month for one to show up on Ebay: 200.00 at the Buy Now option for a NEW Litespeed 3!
Actually to tell the truth, finding a Litespeed for 200.00 is pretty rare. Again, if I wanted something with a high quality drag and at a reasonable price, I would save my pennies and straight out buy a Lamson Velocity. Now theres the BEST reel under 200.00!!! These Conical drags are AWESOME!
Here is my personal rankings for Steelhead Reels
100-150.00: Teton Tiogas LA
150-200.00: Lamson Velocity
200.00-up: Lamson Litespeed (Nothing can beat it for the money)


"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
Matthew 4:19
 
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